The more I hear about abusive and irresponsible teachers who hurt their students instead of lovingly guiding them, the more scared I am to send my children to school. This time around a Latina teacher's aide has been jailed after she threw an autistic elementary school student into a wall. According to the arrest reportJacqueline Zuniga got angry when the autistic boy she was working with started pinching and hitting her. Another teacher heard Zuniga say, "You hit me, I hit you," as she bent the child's fingers backward. 

Later, when the boy was laying down in front of the teacher's aide, she grabbed him by the leg and arm and threw him about five feet away into a wall. 

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Although the boy was not seriously injured, he did lay motionless for about 30 second and his head was bruised. Thankfully, another teacher's aide reported the abuse to school administrators who moved Zuniga, a mother of two, to a non-classroom position. Last Friday, she was charged with child abuse, jailed and has been suspended from Pine Ridge Elementary school in Florida without pay.

It's undeniable that Zuniga's actions were despicable and it sounds to me like she behaved like a child instead of the adult in charge of the kids. In fact, I can't believe that her supposed explanation for what she did is that she wasn't hit by her parents, so she wasn't going to allow this boy to hit her. At least, that's what eyewitnesses heard her say.

I'm not saying that students should be allowed to hit their teachers, but we're talking about an autistic boy who clearly has some issues with this particular caretaker of his. I'm sure there must be other ways to deal with special needs kids who get violent, but tossing them against a wall is surely not one of them.

Image via Police handout

Add Comment How should this teacher be punished?
About the author

Roxana A. Soto is a Staff Writer for MamásLatinas. She's a bilingual and bicultural journalist born in Peru and raised in Mexico, Argentina, South Africa and Miami. She's also mom to a first-grader and a preschooler. She loves languages, traveling and good food – especially if it's cooked by someone else.

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Add Comment How should this teacher be punished?

jail!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
an ass woopen in jail .to see if she like thats shit
This individual should not be aloud to work with children and also have her children taken away. To work with special needs children takes a lot of heart to do, you must love children and willing to help these children that are having difficulties relating to others. Their social life skills are not as regular person. They need a lot of TLC. I speak as a parent who has an Autistic child.

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Kgmmw
You do not touch a child even if they do hit you. She deserves jail.
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